Sitting at breakfast on the Independence of the Seas, overlooking the ocean and walking the deck with the sea air blowing through my hair, I couldn’t help but think of being in another time. Women throughout historical fiction who have traveled the ocean before me, flew through my minds eye. Rose DeWitt Bukater, traveling on a new ship to a new life yet finding love and truly finding herself. 13 year old Charolette Doyle, traveling home from England to Rhode Island as the sole passenger and is accused of murder. Shannon Christie, an upper class girl from Ireland with big dreams of her own land and her own freedom, her only companion, her “serving boy,” who later becomes the most important thing in her life even though she struggles with what is right and what is expected of her. (And also the image of Tom Cruise telling her to cover her ankles on the ship is pretty funny.) Elizabeth Swan, the pirate queen of the Caribbean and the keeper of the pirate king’s heart, breaking down barriers of what is expected of women and making her own way. Learning that love is hard and being willing to do whatever it takes to make it work.
My life doesn’t seem as exciting as all of theirs, but this trip was much needed and I am so blessed of all the people who have come before us and paved the way for humanity. The fact that a trip that once took months is now possible in less than a week is truly incredible! I am so blessed to live in a time and place where a luxury like this trip and the freedoms I have are possible. I wasn’t sailing to freedom the way my fictional ladies had, but I was escaping my everyday life and into the freedom of a much needed vacation! Sometimes getting away from your normal routine is so important and refreshing! There is something about being near the ocean that always clears my head and inspires my soul.
Our cruise was a special one because my very dear friend, Lisa, was getting married on the ship before we left port! It was so nice to be part of their special day and I couldn’t be more happy for them! More on that in a future post! But the fact that they wanted to share their honeymoon and the first week of their marriage with their family and closest friends was pretty spectacular! Our Caribbean cruise left from Fort Lauderdale Florida and stopped in Haiti, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Mexico.
Today, I am going to be sharing some photos that I took on our first port of call, Haiti! Labadee is a beach in Haiti that is owned by Royal Caribbean, so it is considered an extension of the ship and it is only open to cruise passengers and employees. Upon leaving the dock and entering the beach area, you were greeted by the sounds of steel drums and fresh coconuts being cracked open for fresh coconut water! The beach has lounge chairs and cabanas available for sunbathers and swimmers. There are also activities for the more active visitors that we didn’t partake in, but nonetheless, there was a coaster ride, hiking, and the longest zipline in the Caribbean that left from the mountain and went over the beach! There was a little market where you could buy souvenirs made by the locals. For those brave enough to go past the wall of Labadee into more of Haiti, there was even more venders looking to sell art, shirts, and trinkets to the tourists. They were pretty ruthless as tourism brings in a lot of money to their country.
We had a lot of fun in Haiti! The water was so clear and warm. It was very humid and it fogged up my camera lens which I didn’t expect. It was so nice and relaxing! It was also so surreal to be so far from home, swimming in the ocean with your friends, knowing that we all still had 3 more stops together and that the cruise ship waiting at the dock was our home for the next 5 days!
Thanks for letting me share this part of our trip with you! Stay tuned for my Jamaica post! xoxo